As Scarborough enters its second national lockdown, town centre businesses are being encouraged to register to receive the soon to be launched Scarborough Gift Card as an additional payment method.
The Scarborough Gift Card can be spent on retail, leisure, hospitality and services in the town centre and is part of efforts to protect town centre revenues and keep money locked into Scarborough.
All town centre businesses are eligible to be a part of the programme for free. The card will be available to buy online from the 9th November, so even if traders are closed, people can still support businesses by buying the Scarborough Gift Card as Christmas gifts, or to spend online or on the high street once businesses reopen.
The Scarborough Gift Card is being spearheaded by town centre retailers and supported by the Town, Scarborough and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Town Centre Team, Yorkshire Coast BID, York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub, Scarborough Council and the Brunswick Centre. Gift cards can be purchased from the Brunswick Centre as soon as the self-service kiosk is up and running from 2nd December or earlier.
“The introduction of the Scarborough Gift Card is integral to our mission of supporting local businesses to grow and adapt, which is even more important this year,” said Andrew Raby Growth Hub Manager for York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub:
“The Scarborough Gift Card will help businesses in the town centre to be stronger, more resilient and better able to deal with the continuing challenges of the pandemic by introducing a new revenue stream to their businesses through the gift card.”
Janet Jefferson, president of the Scarborough and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce believes the gift card will help traders attract new customers:
“When people receive a gift card, they’ll look at where it can be spent which opens their eyes to businesses they have never used before, bringing new customers. Most people also spend more than the value of the gift card they receive. There are no downsides to being a part of the programme for a business.
“It is an opportunity for people to reconnect with their town and remember what a fantastic range of products and services we have in the town centre, from our high street retailers to our independents, harnessing that sense of civic pride in our town.”
Kerry Carruthers, chief executive for Yorkshire Coast BID said the Scarborough Gift Card can also be used by employers and to encourage tourism and encouraged people to sign up as soon as possible:
“It’s essential that we support our Scarborough businesses this Christmas and lock in as much essential spend locally as possible. The benefit with a town gift card is that it celebrates both national and independent businesses and provides residents with the gift of choice. Whether people are looking to reward an employee, give a gift to a friend or family member, you can be assured that this year, you are supporting your local businesses who need your help and support now more than ever. We really want to encourage as many businesses in the immediate town centre to get signed up as soon as possible to ensure they’re getting the full benefit in the lead up to Christmas, especially as the gift card will be rolled out in phases, the sooner they sign up the better.”
Whilst stage one of the introduction of the Scarborough Gift Card is focused on the town centre, stage two of the project will see businesses outside of the town centre invited to join the scheme.
“The Scarborough Gift Card turns our town centre into an emporium of gifts and opportunities,” said Sue Anderson Brown, manager at the Brunswick Centre. “It is the Christmas gift for all ages because it can be spent with retailers and shops but also restaurants, hair and beauty and more. There are around 30 businesses in the Brunswick Centre alone.
I’ve seen that local gift card programmes work in other towns and cities. This is a really exciting project for our town that will help to retain spend in Scarborough.”
Cllr Liz Colling, Scarborough Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy commented: “When you spend money outside of Scarborough, that money is gone, but when you spend locally, that money is locked into Scarborough and its value is multiplied several times, especially when traders use local suppliers. Spending £50 locally can turn into £500 for your local area.”
The new Scarborough Gift Card will be part of the award winning Town and City Gift Card programme from technology firm Miconex and will be the sixth Town and City Gift Card in Yorkshire. Halifax, Harrogate, Sheffield and York all have programmes, and Barnsley will introduce a Town and City Gift Card in December.
The York Gift Card celebrated its first anniversary in October and has 300 businesses registered to receive the gift card as payment, making it one of the most successful gift card programmes in the country.
Colin Munro managing director of Miconex said the Scarborough Gift Card is a positive move for the town: “Data from the Town and City Gift Cards programmes shows that people spend an average of £34.56 when they buy a gift card, but when the recipient receives the card, they’ll spend up to 65% more on top of this, which is great news for town centre traders in Scarborough.”
Over 30 businesses have already agreed to or have signed up within the first week to receive the Scarborough Gift Card as payment, including Boots the Chemist, Marks and Spencer, Topshop, Toyland Toyshop, Clintons, Gekoglass, Nomination, Cosmetique, O2, Roman Originals, Trespass, Bike and Boot Hotel and Restaurant, Dorothy Perkins, Bay Tree Interiors, Debenhams, to name but a few. Businesses wishing to sign up should contact Mandy West on 07857600526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org